Finding a Sense of Normalcy

Jeanne Torp
February 19, 2020

I’ve reached the point in the Semester Study Abroad Graph where I begin to reach a plateau. For me, this plateau signifies the end of orientation, the end of having to use my Maps app every time I revisit a place, the beginning of real class work; all things that, for me, were included in the steady incline on my Graph, and now that they’re leveling out, show me I’ve become relatively accustomed to living life in Paris. While of course I’m sure there will be some odd event that comes my way tomorrow that will change that, at least for now I feel as if I have settled into a semi-permanent routine. 

While the first few weeks of my time in Paris seemed to be filled with a lot of grasping in the dark, simply trying to find familiar places or new things that interested me, now I have a sense of automatic direction. I now have a go-to coffee shop, which is unfortunately pretty far from both my apartment and my school but which I make the trek for anyway because they have the closest thing to a full cup of coffee (by American standards) I have been able to find in the city. This coffee shop also doubles as my go-to homework spot, with their ample, comfortable chairs, dimly lit rooms, casual atmosphere, and incredible playlists. My roommate and I now have a favorite bakery, located right downstairs, at which we quite literally pick up a baguette to bring home for dinner every night, as well as weekly fitness classes to undo whatever damage the baguettes have done.

With all of these things finally beginning to fit into a weekly schedule, Paris is starting to feel more and more like home and less like vacation. Of course, it will never not have that semi-magical connotation as well, as my weekends are often filled with wandering the city and going to any museum or art exhibit that strikes me, which will always be a pretty unique experience. However, it has been an interesting realization to notice the magic of these classically Parisian things fade ever so slowly, as Paris and its splendor become my normal. It’s an amazing thing to realize that you’ve come to a point in which you feel you’re able to call such a world-famous city “home,” but it’s a point I feel honored to have reached.

Jeanne Torp

<p>My name is Jeanne Torp. I'm a junior at the University of Mississippi majoring in International Studies and French and minoring in Environmental Studies! I will be studying abroad in Paris, France for the Spring 2020 semester, working to better my language skills and immerse myself in the French culture. After graduating, I hope to enter into the urban design or architecture fields, which I'm especially excited to be pursuing as new green and sustainable methods are being introduced to the field every day. Some of my hobbies include traveling, writing, photo- and video-taking, music, and reading.</p>

2020 Spring
Home University:
University of Mississippi
Biloxi, MS
French Language
International Studies
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